Haynesworth: Tampa not 'too pretty' now

As he met with the Tampa Bay media Thursday, defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth said he should have signed with the Buccaneers when he was a free agent back in 2009.

HaynesworthHaynesworth“This is where I should have been like three years ago,’’ Haynesworth said. “But I think all good things come to somebody that waits.’’

Instead of signing with the Bucs, Haynesworth signed with the Redskins. Haynesworth previously has said the Bucs’ offer was greater than Washington’s. When things didn’t work out with the Redskins, Haynesworth signed with the New England Patriots, who waived him Tuesday. The Bucs claimed Haynesworth off waviers Wednesday, and he went through his first Tampa Bay practice Thursday.

Haynesworth gave a pretty interesting answer when he was asked why he didn’t sign with the Bucs in 2009.

“You want to know the truth on that one?’’ Haynesworth said. “It was too pretty, it was too much water, too much sun here. I had just bought a nice, big boat, a good fast boat, and I really thought like if I came here I’d mix my time in with football and boating. When I was at Tennessee, during the offseason then I’d do the boating and do all my toys and playing around and all that. I figured with the water and the sun being here all year round, I was a little afraid of myself on a Tuesday going for a boat ride or something like that. I should have trusted myself and known, but I was kind of scared of that.’’

Haynesworth isn’t scared of Tampa Bay’s recreational opportunities this time around. Haynesworth said he felt he wasn’t getting enough playing time in New England. That shouldn’t be a problem with Tampa Bay.

The Bucs lost defensive tackle Gerald McCoy to a season-ending injury Sunday. They had to finish the loss to New Orleans with only two healthy defensive tackles (Brian Price and Roy Miller) because reserve Frank Okam was out with an injury. Haynesworth said Tampa Bay’s 4-3 defense is similar to what Tennessee used when he played for the Titans during the best seasons of his career.

“I think I can be pretty effective,’’ Haynesworth said. “I’m an older guy and I think they brought me in here to play hard and also to teach some of the younger guys how to play. I’ll be somewhat of, I guess, a mentor. … Get off the ball and disrupt and show them really how good it is that the grass ain’t greener on the other side always.’’